Immerse Yourself at Albany Law School
Independent and private for over 165 years, we pride ourselves on experiential learning inside and outside the classroom. As a school historically centered around a hands-on educational program, we continue to hone our approach to preparing our graduates to be ready to work with real clients solving real legal problems. We are fortunate to be located in the capital of New York State, a learning laboratory for law students.
Experiential learning begins for students on their first day at Albany Law School. In the first-year Lawyering program, students are introduced to the essential skills needed to become a lawyer. In the second and third years, law students continue to apply classroom learning to situations faced by practicing lawyers by representing clients through the Clinic and Justice Center and the extensive Field Placement Program, through advanced simulation courses, problem-based courses and through other extra-curricular programs.
Experiential Learning Opportunities
Albany Law School's lawyering program assigns first-year students to "firms" representing parties in a year-long simulated legal dispute, introducing the student to the legal system, ethics and the skills and values of the profession.
Many advanced courses are available to second and third-year students that require students to integrate doctrinal instruction with skills instruction and professionalism training.
Students learn by doing: that is, they learn by engaging in the professional practices that will be expected of them when they graduate from law school and become practicing lawyers. Problem-based courses require students to learn doctrine and apply it to real or simulated legal and policy-related problems.
Clinics and field placements engage more than 200 students and serve some 600 families every year. Every student is guaranteed a clinic or field placement opportunity prior to graduation.
Under the direct supervision of highly experienced Supervising Attorney/Mentors, students spend approx. 12 hours per week participating in the legal work of their chosen office among 140 placements.
The Summer in Practice Course offers students a unique opportunity to spend the summer working under the supervision of a lawyer-mentor in a judicial, governmental or public interest office.
Second-year and third-year students immerse themselves in exceptional judicial, governmental and public interest offices for an intense semester-long placement experience.
The Pro Bono Scholars Program (PBSP), started in 2015 by the New York Court system, allows students to take the bar exam in February during the final semester of study and then devote the next 12 weeks to providing pro bono legal assistance full-time through an approved field placement or clinic, on behalf of individuals who might not otherwise have access to the justice system. The goal of the PBSP is to assist students in preparing for the actual practice of law while providing much-needed help to those of limited means in our state.
Students can also participate in additional experiential learning opportunities through our many extracurricular programs:
Change lives. Expand your horizons. Albany Law School’s students contribute thousands of pro bono hours each year. Albany Law School has a deep and abiding commitment to pro bono service and to supporting students pursuing public interest and public sector careers as the law school’s distinguished faculty includes some of the leading scholars in criminal, environmental, health, and government practice.
Through the Albany Law School's Anthony V. Cardona '70 Moot Court Program, more than 50 percent of the law school's students receive intensive training in oral and written appellate advocacy, trial advocacy, and client counseling and negotiation skills. Participation in Moot Court prepares students who represent Albany Law School in the most prestigious regional, national, and international appellate competitions. Typically Albany Law School students compete in eight national competitions per year, including the 24-year-old Annual Domenick L. Gabrielli Family Law Competition.
Albany Law School was the first law school to produce a student-edited legal periodical. Through the three student-edited journals, students edit and collaborate with authors around the world to produce the Albany Law Review, Albany Law Journal of Science and Technology, and the Albany Government Law Review. Student members of the editorial board participate in workshops and edits submissions to refine their skills in legal writing, research, and group dynamics.
This 12-month fellowship, the most prestigious awarded to an Albany Law student, provides a generous stipend for a current Albany Law School student to research cutting-edge issues in aging or health law and policy.